Thursday, June 28, 2007

Changing Civilization

This morning, someone I know really well told me a dream about her mother. Her mother, you might want to know, died many years ago. As she related the dream I realized she was re-evaluating the relationship she had with her mother. She was looking at the way she and her mother protected her father from all emotionally troubling information.

She and her mother thought of that as 'being kind' or 'being considerate' of the father who happened to be a busy professional man. As she talked she grew increasingly emotional. She was seeing the many ways she protects people of importance in her life. She was realizing too, that the protection wasn't really needed by those people and didn't help them or her at all. In fact, it hindered their ability to know her.

She was quickly moving into a much deeper realization. "If I stop protecting everyone from the things I know," she said, "I'll soon be living in a reality that I didn't create and cannot control. I'll be changing the entire premise of my life."

"You are changing civilization," I said. The civilization we know best is the one we grew up in and our most intimate knowledge of that civilization came from the interactions, emotion, spiritual orientation and physical presence of the two most powerful people in our lives - our parents.

You can look at history, your own, that way. You can begin to evalute the spoken and unspoken attitudes, beliefs, and expectations that your mother and father, their brothers and sisters and parents - the entire pantheon of ancestors that you bring into your living room, kitchen and bedroom.

In letting yourself 'see' your psychological/ emotional/ spiritual history you open the door to seeing your relationship more clearly. It just may be the beginning of the end of judging, criticizing, diagnosing and blaming your partner for all that's missing in your marriage.

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